Dictatorship of the Young Turks
Having regained power, the Young Turks launched a bloody terror campaign against their political rivals and outlawed all political parties. From that moment until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the Union and Progress Party remained the only legal political force in the country. Since the end of 1913, the Young Turk dictatorship has been established in Turkey.
All the reins of power were in the hands of the three most prominent figures of the Ittihadists - Enver, Talaat and Jemal. Under the pressure of the Young Turks, the War Minister, Marshal Ahmed Izzet Pasha, resigned (he was opposed to involving Turkey in the war). This post was taken by Enver Pasha. He also became the head of the General Staff, thus concentrating in his hands the full power of military power. Enver Pasha (Ismail Enver) made an amazing career. Being a mother Albanian, Enver was born in the family of an employee of public works. After graduating from elementary and secondary schools, Enver entered the military lyceum in the city of Monastir. Upon completion of studies received the rank of lieutenant. He continued his military career at the Military Academy of the General Staff, graduating in 1903 with the rank of captain. Already a major, in 1906, he became an Ittihadist. When the uprising began in July 1908, Enver immediately joined him and organized a detachment of several thousand people. During the Young Turk Revolution, Enver, on her wave, became one of the heroes (became titled "The Hero of Freedom", he was even compared to Napoleon). The sudden fame and apparent ease of success gave Enver faith in his “special destiny” and “divine destiny”. True, unlike the real Napoleon, Enver did not have his talents.
Enver became a military attache and spent two years in Berlin. After studying the German army, he became her admirer and a staunch Germanophile (in the initial period, most of the Ittihadists were oriented toward England). In January, 1913 Mr. Enver became one of the leaders of the military coup, who returned power to the Young Turks and established their dictatorship. It should be noted that after the defeat of Turkey in the First World War, Enver fled to Germany, then with the help of the prominent Bolshevik Karl Radek he ended up in Soviet Russia. He met with the leader of the Bolsheviks Ulyanov, hatched plans for the unification of Bolshevism and Islam in the fight against England. Later, being the envoy of Moscow in Central Asia, Enver-pasha, decided that the Bolsheviks did not need him and once again abruptly changed his fate, joined the basmachis. In one of the fights with the Red Army Enver found death, his head was cut down.
But this was still far away. "Turkish Napoleon" was at the height of glory. At first he shuffled the commanding personnel. Devotee devotees were posted at key posts. In January, 1914 was dismissed from the army around 300 generals and senior officers, their place was taken by young officers, Enver's appointees. As a man immensely ambitious, Enver eliminated all civil and military officials he disliked.
In foreign policy, Enver focused on Germany. With him, Otto Lyman von Sanders, appointed in 1913, the head of the German military mission in the Ottoman Empire, established control over the Turkish armed forces. The German government during this period hatched far-reaching plans for the creation of the "Great Reich", which included the involvement of the Ottoman Empire with the German sphere of influence. Until Germany gained full power, Berlin pretended to be an ally of Istanbul and expressed readiness to preserve the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire. Foreign Minister von Yagov said that this would continue until "we strengthened our zones and were ready for annexations." Enver Pasha and the Turkish Inspector General Liman von Sanders provided Germany with a dominant influence not only in the military field, but in the political life of the empire.
Enver Pasha, accompanied by a German officer on the way to the Romanian front
Other members of the Young Turk triumvirate, Talaat Pasha and Djemal Pasha, were in line with the ambitious careerist and intriguer. Mehmed Talaat Pasha was pomak by origin (pomaks are Islamized Bulgarians). His father was an investigator. After graduating from high school in Edirne, Talaat began his career as a telegraph office employee. He joined the Ittihadists. For political activity, he was arrested, was released two years later and sent to Thessaloniki, where he again joined the Young Turks and entered the Masonic Lodge of Macedonia Resort.
It should be noted that many educated Young Turks, especially in emigration (in France) were members of Masonic lodges, and generally implemented their plans to eliminate the "obsolete", in their opinion, absolutist monarchies, empires and the establishment of "democratic" regimes. In this, the Young Turks were similar to the Russian revolutionaries who destroyed the Russian Empire in February 1917. Many Russian liberal figures, Duma members, aristocrats, generals, financiers, bankers and lawyers were members of various masonic, "network" structures and conducted subversive work. And many used in the dark, they sincerely believed that they would build a better, free Russia (Turkey).
The Young Turk Revolution opened the way for the heights of a career for a small postal official. Talaat, after the Young Turk of 1908, was elected a member of the Majlis, and also continued Masonic activity, establishing the Masonic Lodge “Hyurve Kabul Edilmish” in Istanbul. He served as Minister of Post and Telegraph. Talaat was one of the main organizers of the 23 coup d’état in January 1913 and occupied one of the key posts in the state, became Minister of the Interior. Talaat Pasha was also the chairman of the Central Committee of the Young Turks party.
Ahmed Jemal Pasha was born into a military medical family. He graduated from the higher military school Kuleli, then the Istanbul Military Academy. Entered military service, where he became a member of the movement "Union and Progress." From 1909, the governor of Adana, from 1911 - Baghdad. He headed the security service in Istanbul, and then received a portfolio of Minister of Public Works. During the Balkan Wars 1912-1913 years. commanded a division. In 1913, he became the commander of the 1 Army Corps, and then the Navy Minister. Cemal, unlike other Young Turkish leaders, was a supporter of an alliance with the Entente, especially with France. Shortly before the war, he founded a committee of French-Turkish rapprochement in Istanbul and until the last time tried to form an alliance with France.
The members of the triumvirate were united not only by endless ambition, they were all strong supporters of the doctrine of Ottomanism - the forced Turkishization of the non-Turkish peoples of the empire, but also supporters of Pan-Islamism and Pan-Turkism. All this led to the deportation and genocide of Armenians and, to a lesser extent, other empire Christians during the war years.
Young Turkish dictatorship did not lead to the stabilization of the Ottoman Empire. The economic situation continued to deteriorate. Sharply increased dependence on the Western powers. Only dependence on England and France began to be replaced by dependence on Germany. German banks took root in the Ottoman Empire, German schools, missionary societies were built. There was a construction of the Baghdad road. During the period from 1909 to 1914, the Ottoman Empire made foreign loans for almost 50 million lire, which exceeded the amount of similar loans for almost 120 of previous years. There is a huge deficit of the state budget and the balance of foreign trade The Young Turks could not solve a single serious economic problem. The country went to war in complete frustration.
Mehmed Talaat Pasha
Young Turks Choose Allies
Enver and Talaat were ardent Germanophiles, and Cemal wanted to focus on France. However, the Turkish liberal nationalists did not enjoy special respect in Europe, where they deservedly had a reputation as a marginal movement. In addition, Turkey was an extremely weak power, it was not taken into account. The country's economy was weak, as was the army. And the Porta leadership itself was not competent enough.
Back in 1911, the Young Turks tried to form an alliance with England, but were refused. In Europe, it was then believed that the Young Turks were temporary workers. The British preferred to focus on conservative politicians who wanted to restore a strong sultan's power. In May 1914, Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha arrived on a visit to the Russian Empire. He probed the ground for a possible union of Turkey and Russia. At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov, held in Crimea, Talaat conveyed assurances of friendship and good intentions from Sultan Mehmed V to the Russian Tsar and informed about the possibility of concluding a union agreement. However, the Russian government showed no interest in such a union. Distrust of the Young Turks had an effect. In Petersburg, they knew about Enver's sympathies for the Germans, about the active cooperation of Germany and Turkey and the actions of the German mission in Istanbul.
In July, 1914, after the Sarajevo assassination, Jemal Pasha traveled to France: officially - to attend maritime maneuvers, in reality - to ascertain the conditions for the accession of the Ottoman Empire to the Entente. However, the conditions put forward by Jemal, in particular, the provision of French Porte guarantees against possible claims of Russia, did not meet with sympathy from the French leadership, which at that time was preparing for a visit to the Russian Empire. Frankofil, maritime minister Jemal Pasha were greatly disappointed. The positions of the pro-German party were strengthened.
The pro-German party led by Enver believed that the German Empire, which needed an ally in the struggle against Russia, a strategic bridgehead on the Black Sea, on the approaches to the Caucasus, Persia and Egypt (the Suez Canal) and the food base, is interested in a strong Turkey and has no plans for its dismemberment and transformation into its colony. In the end, on July 22, the Minister of War, without the consent of most of the government members who still doubted the need for war on the German side, proposed to the German ambassador von Wangenheim to conclude a military alliance. The German ambassador in Istanbul, after consulting with von Sanders, did not want to conclude such an alliance. Turkey was a dubious ally. However, in Berlin, thought differently. The German emperor noted in the margins of the telegram: “Theoretically true, but at the moment inappropriate. Now it’s about getting every rifle that can shoot at the Slavs in the Balkans on the side of Austria-Hungary. Therefore, we must agree to the Turkish-Bulgarian alliance with the annexation of Austria-Hungary. This is still better than for theoretical reasons to push Turkey to the side of the Entente ... ".
2 August 1914 (that is, the day after Germany declared war on Russia) a secret German-Turkish treaty of alliance was signed. Turkey was obliged to join the war if the Russian Empire intervened in the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, and Germany would side with Austria. The Turkish army was transferred to the full disposal of Germany. The agreement was so secret that the agreement was not even submitted for familiarization to many members of the Turkish government.
Ahmed Jemal Pasha
Turkey enters the war
2 August The Ottoman Empire began to mobilize. 3 August general mobilization began. Hundreds of thousands of people were divorced from peaceful labor. Within three days, all men between the ages of 20 and 45 were to appear at the mobilization points. Over a million people moved to their home posts. The mobilization department was organized poorly, so the huge masses of the peasants, who had been torn off from their plots for agriculture, were idle for weeks without food and shelter in the cities, awaiting admission to the soldiers. Some of the people were eventually sent back (there were an abundance of men), others deserted and hid from the authorities for a long time, having increased the ranks of vagrants and criminals. But the most important thing was that the country's agriculture, which was already in distress, was put on the brink of disaster. Mobilization of men, transport and working livestock, endless extortion for the needs of the army - all this led to a sharp decline in agricultural production.
Mobilization was completed on September 25 1914. The Ottoman Empire deployed seven armies. The 1, 2, and 5 armies are between Adrianople, Istanbul, Dardanelles and Smyrna for the defense of the shores of the Black Sea, the Dardanelles and the capital; 3 Army - in Turkish Armenia for actions against Russia; 4 Army - on the Mediterranean coast to protect Palestine and Syria; 6 th army - in Mesopotamia to cover the paths from the Persian Gulf along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; Arabian army on the northern shore of the Red Sea. In all armies there were up to 537 battalions. The most powerful was the 3 Army (190 battalions), deployed against Russia. The plan of warfare developed by the German Colonel von Schellendorf provided for two main directions of the offensive of the Turkish troops. The 3 Army was to attack in the Caucasus, and the 4 Army to attack Egypt.
In the first three months of the war, the Ottoman Empire maintained neutrality. This explained the need to gain time to complete the mobilization and the doubts of the part of the Turkish leadership. At the same time, the Young Turks continued to negotiate with the Entente powers. This well characterized the adventurous nature of the Turkish elite. Having signed an agreement with Germany, Enver led negotiations with the Russian ambassador and military agent, offering them to conclude a military alliance against Germany. Enver tried to convince General Leontyev that Turkey is not bound by an agreement with Germany and feeds the most friendly feelings towards Russia. He proposed to send the Turkish army against the enemies of Russia. For the "friendship" Enver asked to return to Turkey part of the Bulgarian Thrace and the Aegean Islands. However, in Petersburg they did not believe in the sincerity of the Young Turks. In addition, Foreign Minister Sazonov was afraid to push Bulgaria into the arms of Germany.
10 August changed the balance of power on the Black Sea. Before the war, the Ottoman Empire had an extremely weak fleet: 3 armored cruisers (“Hayreddin Barbarus”, “Torgut Reis”, “Mouini Zader”), 2 light cruisers (“Hamidiye”, “Majidiye”), 2 mine cruisers, 8 crucibles, 7 escar. , 10 torpedo boats and other vessels. Virtually all ships are outdated and were not ready for a modern war. The situation was aggravated by the poor technical condition of the ships, and the abominable combat training of the crews. Turkey ordered two new ships in England, but with the start of the war the British confiscated them. 1914 August 1915, the Göben battleship and the Breslau light cruiser, under the command of Wilhelm Souchon, who avoided collision with superior enemy forces, arrived in Constantinople. There is a version that the British deliberately missed the German ships so that the Russian Black Sea Fleet could not immediately block the Bosphorus and be able to conduct a landing operation to seize Constantinople. Only the commissioning of the battleship "Empress Maria" in XNUMX, dramatically changed the balance of forces on the Black Sea in favor of Russia. Prior to that, the Russian command had to take into account the danger of the newest German cruisers.
Turkey was officially a neutral state bound by international treaties that did not allow it to pass the warships of other powers through the straits, therefore, on August 16, the Goeben and Breslau were officially handed over to the Turkish Navy to varnish the arrival of German ships. They received the names "Yavuz Sultan Selim" and "Midilly." At the same time, the crews remained German, and the questions of the leadership of the Turkish Navy were concentrated in the hands of the German admirals Sushon, von Usedom and von Reber-Paschwitz. Thus, Germany radically strengthened the leadership and composition of Turkish fleet. The German Empire took control not only of the army, but also of the Turkish fleet. Arrived in Turkey and the corresponding technical staff.
The Entente protested, but not too vigorously, fearing a break in relations with Turkey. Russia, in order to delay, and possibly prevent, Turkey’s side with Germany, but offered to guarantee her territorial integrity. In addition, it was proposed to return the island of Limnos to the Turks. There were other possible territorial concessions. Sazonov took into account the fact that without significant territorial concessions the Ottoman Empire would not make an agreement with the Entente powers. However, this proposal came up against the resistance of Britain. Ostensibly defending the interests of Greece, Lord Gray refused to hand over to the Ottomans Lemnos. True, the guarantee of territorial integrity to give England agreed (during the current war). This was not enough to interest the Young Turkish government. With the victory of Germany, before Turkey, more attractive prospects opened up.
While the question of Turkey’s participation in the war remained open, the Young Turks decided to take a moment to strengthen their positions inside the country by canceling the capitulation regime. That was the name of the regime in which foreigners, their firms were withdrawn from the action of local jurisdiction and submitted to the jurisdiction of their consuls. September 9 Istanbul has informed all powers that from October 1 the surrender regime will be canceled. However, this decision faced a collective resistance not only to the Entente powers, but also to Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Ambassadors of all powers handed protest notes. The surrender talks continued throughout September. Soon Germany and Austria-Hungary were forced to agree with the decision of the ports in order to maintain their military-political and economic positions in Turkey.
After the defeat of the German armies on the Marne and the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian troops in the Battle of Galicia, it became clear that there would be no lightning war. Therefore, the Germans stepped up the process of involving Turkey in the war. In October, the German Empire granted Porte a loan. At the same time, it was stipulated that the Ottoman Empire would enter the war as soon as it received a portion of the money. The German loan promptly entered the accounts of Deutsche Bank in Constantinople. Everything was ready for the beginning of the war: the troops were mobilized, the strait was mined, the coastal fortifications of the straits were strengthened. However, the government dragged on time and there was no direct order to speak.
Many members of the Turkish government still doubted. Among the doubters was the Grand Vizier, Side Halim Pasha. Germany’s failures in France and the defeat of Austria-Hungary on the Eastern Front further reinforced these fears. The situation was in a dangerous suspense. Therefore, the war party decided to go all-in and organized a provocation with the attack of the German-Turkish fleet, fully controlled by the Germans, on the Russian coast. Enver Pasha, as the Minister of War of Turkey, issued a secret order that was agreed upon with the Germans: “The Ottoman fleet must win supremacy on the Black Sea. Find the Russian fleet and attack it without declaring war where you will find it. ” The Turkish government decided to face a fait accompli. 29-30 October 1914 German-Turkish fleet appeared in the territorial waters of Russia, fired at Sevastopol, Odessa, Feodosia and Novorossia, drowned and damaged several civilian and military ships.
There were no serious military consequences of this operation (the German command dispersed forces and the blows were weak), but the political and strategic results were serious. The Turkish government was frightened by the provocation of Enver and Sushona, and many ministers resigned. The grand vizier tried to save the world, apologized to St. Petersburg. Russia demanded the immediate expulsion of all Germans from Turkey. The Grand Vizier could not fulfill this requirement. 2 November 1914 Russia declared war on Porte. 5 and 6 November, the war of Turkey was declared by England and France. The provocation has reached its goal.
Turkey’s entry into the war seriously worsened the position of the Entente. The Entente powers clearly underestimated the possibilities, although extremely weakened, but of the strategic position of the Ottoman Empire, which could put pressure on Russia and England. In fact, Turkey sacrificed itself to prolong the war. The Suez (Sinai) Front was opened against England, the Caucasian Front against Russia. Later, the Mesopotamian and Balkan fronts appeared. The sphere of war has seriously expanded. A new Asian-Turkish theater of war appeared.
This distracted part of the forces of Russia, England from Germany. Russia had to send troops to the Caucasus and to defend the Black Sea coast. In addition, the straits through which more than half of Russian exports passed were blocked for Russia; this was a serious blow to the economy of the empire. The naval link of Russia with the Allies on the Entente through the Black and Mediterranean seas was broken.
The position of Serbia has deteriorated dramatically. Serbia was in the path of direct communication between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. With the defeat of Serbia, Germany received direct access to the straits, Turkish raw materials. Through Turkey, Germany could have an impact on Egypt, Persia and the Caucasus.
Ittihadists, despite the degradation of the country, believed that the military-political revenge and the revival of the greatness of Porta would solve all the problems. Pan-Turkism proclaimed the superiority of the “Turkic race”. And among the leaders of the Young Turks there were almost no purebred Turks. Most of them were raznochintsy, exits from the refreshed Bulgarians, Albanians, Greeks, Jews, immigrants from the Caucasus, etc. But such a discrepancy did not bother them at all.
In addition, many party leaders were freemasons, and it was difficult to call them real Muslims. So, it is believed that Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha, Jemal Pasha, who called themselves "defenders of Islam", were in fact atheists. Young Turks were raised on the basis of European culture, they lived in a European way, very often violated Sharia laws. Pan-Islamism was for the masses, who were supposed to become cannon fodder of the Ittihadists.
The ideologues of Pan-Islamism argued that the primacy in the world should belong to Muslims. All Muslims were supposed to unite around the Caliph, that is, the Turkish Sultan. This should have led to the domination of the world. The Young Turks' main goal was to create the Great Turan. Young Turkish ideologues recalled that in the 6th century there existed a Turkic kaganate, the former one of the largest stories humanity of the ancient states in Asia. It consisted of the territories of North China (Manchuria), Mongolia, Altai, East Turkestan, West Turkestan (Central Asia) and the North Caucasus. A huge state formation stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea. Turkey declared heir to the giant kaganat.
Ittihadists cherished plans of domination over all Turkic peoples. One of the main ideologists of Pan-Turkism, Z. Gelkap, noted: "The political boundaries of the Turks' homeland cover the whole territory where Turkic speech is heard and where Turkic culture exists." At the same time, the Turks were proclaimed the "purebred highest race", which is designed to dominate all nations. Soldiers brought up in the hatred of the "infidels." They had to be ruthless, kill children, women, old people and the sick.
It was believed that in the East, in Asia there are boundless spaces and opportunities for expansion and development of the Ottoman Empire. It was proposed to liberate the Turkic-speaking peoples of the Transcaucasus and Turkestan from the “Russian yoke”. The Turks had to fulfill the "sacred duty", carrying out the unification of the Turkic peoples from the Caspian and Black to the Yellow Sea.
Particularly "advanced" Young Turk ideologists went even further. They established the kinship of the Ottomans with the Huns and Ugric peoples. Therefore, they proposed to include in the Great Turan the lands of Hungary, the whole of the Volga region and Finland. One of the Young Turks, Tekin Alps, in the book “Turan” put forward a program of minimum and maximum. "Mini-Turan" was supposed to cover the land up to Kazan and Lake Baikal. The maximum program, in the second stage of the expansion of the Great Turan, covered lands up to Scandinavia, the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. All this was to be won by “fire and sword,” the era of the “new Genghis Khan” was proclaimed. True, the government understood that Turkey was weak for such an expansion, so the start of a global war for supremacy of a “superior race” was to begin in 1925.
Before that, they hoped to crush Russia with the help of Germany and Austria-Hungary and to master its lands with a Turkic population. The Caucasus and Central Asia were to be the first conquests, the springboards for further expansion. The Caucasus and Central Asia before the war were flooded with Turkish emissaries acting under the guise of pilgrims, travelers and merchants. They conducted propaganda, established contacts with anti-Russian forces, organized subversive centers. The Russian gendarmerie during this period reported on the creation of pan-Islamist schools, newspapers, and printing houses in a number of cities in the empire. Turkish officers spied and carried out subversive activities in Russia.
A special department of the office of the Caucasian governor presented a report on pan-Islamism as a new danger that threatened Russia: “The teaching of pan-Islamism, given the large number of the Mohammedan population of the region, is an undoubted political danger for Russia ...” This conclusion has now become relevant again. Only now the planet is threatened by Islamists (Wahhabis, jihadists), who are a tool in the hands of the owners of the western project. With the help of the Islamists launch the process of global war. Eurasia and Africa, and part of the Pacific region, are becoming a battlefield.
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